That Was Then, Has Now Changed

Well after my Sunday rant it is time to move on with something more progressive.  “Progressive”, something that seems to be fading in the new Canadian political culture.  Time to move on and see if Canada is still open for business.

Of late I have been paying close attention to the whole niqab issue which is actually a non-issue that the current government has done everything in their power to make an issue.  Like the article in the Globe and Mail, I fail to see how this really impacts Canada.  It does however rings bells from my past that to me are very frightening.

To compare my wheelchair to a niqab is a little stretch but it makes my point.  This is the politics of fear.  Having grown up during the height of the cold war I know the politics of fear very well.  It was used effectively then and is popping its ugly head up again.

During that same time period it was considered “humane” to sterilize persons with disabilities.  The government of the day was doing me a favour while helping me become a better member of the “Canadian family”.  In 1928, the Canadian province of Alberta passed legislation giving them the ability to sexually sterilize disabled individuals.  Prior to its repeal in 1972, more than 2,800 people were sterilized in the province of Alberta with women extremely overrepresented.

The politics of fear
The politics of fear

However it could only be accomplished because of a piece of paper majestically referred to as “legislation”.  A piece of legislation that used fear as the motivator and that fear was build on the premise that the disabled would only mess up the gene pool.  When you start using the “gene pool” as your argument you are moving into the territory of tyranny not good governance for all.  When you have legislation that takes away the rights of any individual because of their life rather than the process of breaking the law it becomes tyranny.  My parents or doctor couldn’t decide to sterilize me, it had to be the Alberta Eugenics Board that made that decision.  So when I got home from school in September of 1966 and found the letter in the mail from the Alberta Eugenics Board I knew right away what it was about and to me there was an act of tyranny being aimed at me.  Based on Mr. Jefferson quote it would appear to be an act of tyranny which is exactly what the niqab issue represents.  We allowing this non-issue to slip into a form of tyranny in Canada.Continue reading “That Was Then, Has Now Changed”

Day of Fast

CONFESSIONS– Today is a confession day and it is also a day of fasting.  I am not fasting for religious reasons or for protest reasons.  I am fasting out of necessity.  It saddens me to say it but that has become the new way of life for too many seniors in this country.  Despite numerous calls from other levels of government as well as community groups the Canadian government continues to ignore the need for a national seniors strategy.

The Canadian Medical Association has also launched a campaign in an attempt to get the federal government to at least begin a dialogue on establishing a strategy to no avail.  For details on that visit the Demand a Plan website and have your voice heard.  I find this particularly distressing since seniors now represent the fastest growing demographic to commit suicide.

I have spend the last two weeks running from pillar to post looking for some programs designed to help senior and, in particular, seniors living with a lifetime disability.  And all I hear is that my monthly income is to high.   For the record when everything is added up I have a before tax pension of $1674 per month but my monthly living costs (strictly controlled) is closer to $2000.

Accessible housing is very difficult to find and my current rent is now $890 per month.  The additional costs of wheelchair living, utilities, prescriptions, transportation (restricting my driving to less than 500 km/month = one tank of gas), groceries, telephone, etc add up quickly.  The one good thing is being debt free and no credit cards.  My car was paid off in 2012 so it’s only maintenance and insurance costs.  That still provides more freedom than public transit which isn’t always accessible.Continue reading “Day of Fast”

School’s Back In

School opened this week for most kids in BC and my grandson attended his first day.  It was 24 years ago that my son, the taller of the two, entered his first day of school.  It was the same year BC Education introduced a number of changes to how school worked.  One of the changes was duel entry.  Basically any child who turned five before the end of April began classes in January.  Anyone turning five after the end of April would start in September.  It didn’t really make any sense at the time and it was abandoned quickly (I believe it only lasted the one season).

twenty-five years after his dad started my grandson attended his first day of school
twenty-five years after his dad started my grandson attended his first day of school

Another big news event at the time was the disappearance of Michael Dunahee.  Michael was a four year old who just disappeared from a playground in the city of Victoria.

Needless to say there were a lot of concerned parents on the Island.  After all if a child could disappear right off a public playground and completely disappear ON AN ISLAND then parents had to be hyper vigilant.Continue reading “School’s Back In”